MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (KMSP) - A 31-year-old man was shot and killed during an apparent home invasion on the 2200 block of Hazel Street in Maplewood early Saturday morning. Police identified the man killed as Justin Niles Wright, a resident of the home.
According to police, authorities were called to the home just before 5 a.m. after a woman reported a break-in and said her husband had been shot. Upon arrival, police found Wright dead inside of the residence with a gunshot wound to the upper portion of the body.
Responding officers with assistance from a variety of other law enforcement agencies established a perimeter and conducted a K-9 search of the area, but the suspect was not located.
"The woman did not see the man. There is some indication that there may have been some knowledge of each other, but the details of that we don't know at all, nor do we know the exact details of that verbal exchange between the man who entered the home," Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said.
Police said the woman was uninjured and has been fully cooperative with investigators.
"Crime scene investigation indicates that access to the home was the result of forced entry through a backdoor," Schnell said. "A gun found discarded on a driveway a short distance from the victim's residence was recovered by investigators late Saturday morning."
The gun was sent to a BCA lab to determine if it was linked to the shooting of Wright.
"This has been a very active investigation,” Schnell said. “Investigators have established a lengthy list of people they plan to interview who could hold critical information to help in identifying the suspect."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Maplewood Police Department at 651-767-0640. You can also send an anonymous text message tip to investigators by texting the keyword Maplewood followed by the tip information to TIP411 (847411).